An athlete’s optimum level of performance involves them having the right balance of the right things in place. In sport ‘perfect’ involves:
- passion for the activity – enough to motivate you to turn up each day
- smart scheduling – for maximum exertion plus maximum recovery
- great nutrition – to give body and mind the highest quality energy to call on
- quality sleep – good yin, good yang
- being totally present – fully aware of the task and how you’re going to deliver when the time comes
- commitment to improvement – learning equally through successes and challenges
- an excellent support team – coaches, sparring partners, nutritionists and sports therapists
There’s no doubt a person can be talented at more than one thing, but choosing to commit to more because of what other people want, keeping people onside or being seen to be super-capable – these are not good enough long term motivators. And you will speedily reach your tipping point.
A person’s working life has extraordinary parallels to the life of an athlete, so you’ll know you’re at your professional tipping if you notice these 5 main factors:
- Your motivation has reduced– you’re imgining being somewhere else and you’re no longer stretched by the role
- Decisions are less clear – when you’re involved in an activity that doesn’t sit inside your sphere of being ‘purposeful’ it’s harder to intuit the next right move
- You’re getting panicky – the list of ‘to do’s only ever gets longer. You’re getting 8 things ticked off it each day, but 12 things are going on. You’re living with a growing sense of ‘I’m only reacting – there’s nothing strategically though out going on’
- Relationships are stretched – at work and at home ‘the unspoken’ is getting louder. You haven’t the time to work stuff out so the tension grows as collaborative conversations are replaced with direct requests and instructions.
- Core value are being compromised – many top execs know that they can high perform only when the fundamentals are in place. Quality sleep, good nutrition, regular exercise, supportive relationships being maintained, clear vision of the benefits of investing their professional time. When you begin to operate in the absence of these things on a regular basis stress and anxiety will increase
The tipping point is a real thing. If these 5 points are present for you then quality conversations focussing on change are required. Speak to your director, HR head, coach, or mentor. Define what ‘best working practice’ for you looks like and take some practical steps to ensure your core values are re-instated and any excesses in what you’ve said ‘yes’ to are edited back to an absolute minimum.